28
votes
8answers
1k views

What are the most important differences for a 1st Edition AD&D Dungeon Master learning to run D&D 4E?

I'm a campaign designer and DM with 20+ years of AD&D 1st edition experience. I've been "retired" from the game for over a decade, assume I don't know anything about 2nd, 3rd, or 3.5. Now I'm ...
27
votes
11answers
3k views

Should a GM be a Player?

Game Masters have plenty to do; no need to enumerate the tasks here. But should a non-player character be a 'regular' in a party? By gaining a voice in the in-character interactions, the GM taps a ...
25
votes
9answers
2k views

Tried all the existing advice, but players still never roleplay fear

I've read some other posts on here about how to telegraph danger to my PCs and how to make them flee. The problem is, I believe I am actively using all the strategies in both of the posts and my PCs ...
23
votes
8answers
594 views

How do you DM differently when it's for only one person?

I've just finished running my first session with only one player, and it felt pretty different from running a session for a group. Could someone with more experience in this talk about what one ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I play monsters and NPCs up to their potential?

In many cases discussions about balance in 3.5 will, inevitably, involve one side or another invoking an anecdote of the time they fought this monster, or a member of that class, and they didn't ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Can players use crafting to improve beloved magic items instead of churning gear?

I'm all about the story, and as such, I've always been a fan of long-term attachment between players/characters and their special (usually magic) items. But with D&D 4th edition, it seems the ...
18
votes
4answers
21k views

What are the major differences between Pathfinder and D&D 4e?

I'm really only familiar with D&D 4e. Could someone give me a rundown of the major things that would be different if I were to DM Pathfinder? (I gather it is more similar to 3.5e, but I only know ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

Tools/techniques for optimal tabletop gaming with one remote user

A member of our group has moved to Dallas and we're involving them in the game using Skype. The rest of us are sitting around a table. We have one laptop being used to show the player, and usually ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I encourage my D&D Encounters group to do more role playing?

I'm a new player to D&D 4e. I've been participating in D&D Encounters since Season 1 and have even run a couple of sessions in Season 3 when the regular DM couldn't attend. I don't play in ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Can a Revenant Assassin be used where a high-damage striker is needed?

The Revenant racials, as a whole, seem to be focused on survivability/durability, granting the ability to stay in the fight even at zero HP. The Assassin class, while technically a Striker, seems to ...
12
votes
3answers
16k views

Several damage reduction clarifications for Pathfinder

There are a few bits about damage reduction that I'm unclear on in pathfinder, specifically... Easy one first; Do cold iron/silver weapons equivalent (+3) count as magic for purposes of ignoring DR? ...
12
votes
3answers
470 views

Non-combat objective: Delay larger enemy force

I'm re-writing the "Battle of Albridge" encounters from The DM-kit's Reavers of Harkenwold. As supplied they are mostly just a rehash of earlier fight-to-the-death skirmishes on re-used maps. Instead ...
28
votes
6answers
2k views

How to deal with players not taking things seriously?

As both a player and GM I play with my group of players (and close friends) on multiple occasions and they will often make fun of either my characters, NPC or a specific situation and won't stop ...
24
votes
7answers
3k views

How does D&D Vancian magic make sense in-game?

One thing that bugs me about Vancian Magic in D&D as I understand it is the following: How is "fire and forget" remotely believable when I can slot and ready more than one "copy" of a spell? Say ...
22
votes
9answers
1k views

How can I create within-party intrigue without destroying group cohesion?

I am a novice GM playing with several more experienced D&D players (who happen to be good friends). I wanted to spice up the game for them and take advantage of their own intelligence/experience ...
20
votes
7answers
1k views

Are there any official guidelines for Shadowrun payouts?

I'm trying to figure out how much to pay Shadowrunners for a job, and how to balance the NPCs. I couldn't find anything in SR4A (though I could've missed something). I've only played in a couple of ...
16
votes
8answers
803 views

Easy-to-learn system that supports one-on-one play [closed]

The Situation I'm looking for a system that I would be able to GM and have my wife as my only player. I am experienced with RPGs; she is not. She joined a D&D 4e game with me and my friends ...
37
votes
6answers
1k views

GMing a setting when your players are more familiar with it than you

My players often ask me to GM games in specific settings we all like. Most of the time, they know FAR more than me about that setting. They will object to events I have happen or how I play an NPC, ...
29
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I Raise the Dead and Look Good Doing it?

I am a LE cleric (No god, but in a order of LG/LN cleric, faking to praying to their god) and we are in a mass combat campaign (Darn you Drow), and I want to raise an elite troop of undead to protect ...
29
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I make my role playing group a not exclusively male one?

My role playing groups have been, almost exclusively, male. What are some ideas/options for making the group and the experience more likely to attract, and retain, female players?
24
votes
10answers
1k views

Strategies for dealing with turtle or roach players?

How should GMs deal with players who turtle or roach? By turtle I am referring to players who obviously wanted to play because they joined the game, but when they're actually at the table they keep ...
23
votes
7answers
1k views

How to encourage a player's creativity without breaking the game?

I've just started a new D&D 4e campaign with a new group of players. One of my players came straight from 2nd edition, and has never played 4e before. She doesn't seem to grasp the layer of ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How does Shadowrun 4 differ from the previous editions - from an Actual Play viewpoint?

I have the old versions, and played the heck out of them. I don't have version 4. If I buy it, what can I expect?
21
votes
10answers
1k views

What defines the “old school renaissance”?

I'm aware that the old school renaissance (OSR) is all about hearkening back to old versions of D&D and the play styles of the 70's and 80's, but what characteristics really define this movement? ...
20
votes
9answers
1k views

How to Manage Player Frustration and Disengagement

Many RPGs have random elements, such as dice rolling, which can determine success or failure of an action. In some of these games, failure basically means the player character does nothing or ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I thwart a vampire in the party planning on dominating all of us?

We have a party member in Pathfinder get bitten on purpose where the rest of the party didn't see, so he turned into a vampire and nobody knows in-game. He is pretty much planing on turning the whole ...
17
votes
9answers
593 views

What game systems determine skill levels only through use?

Is there a table top game similar to the video game Dungeon Siege where you don't really pick a class but what you become depends on what you do? You cast magic your magic skill increases, you beat ...
16
votes
3answers
897 views

How to make a dense, immersive horror atmosphere?

I'm currently narrating a horror-esque campaign set in a dystopian future based on the Lovecraft Mythos. My problem is that my players break their own sense of immersion often, making the game seem ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I help my players get more engaged in the story?

I play in a group where we routinely switch out GMs. When I GM I tend to prefer story-based games with lots of character building and descriptive role play. We tend to run Paizo's Adventure Paths ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Can a character take free action out of her turn?

Free actionsD20PFSRD in Pathfinder take almost no time. But can they be performed outside of one's turn or in response to some trigger? Scenario 1: Can a Barbarian enter rage in response to taking ...
15
votes
4answers
12k views

Build Advice For Pathfinder Oracle

I've made an Oracle, 1st level, Mystery of Lore, Haunted Curse, and I took Sidestep Secret as my first revelation. I'm trying to decide if I should focus on melee combat and take relevant feats for ...
15
votes
11answers
3k views

What game system is best for playing Fallout on the tabletop?

Give details - why is the game system a good fit? What matches the Fallout setting?
15
votes
9answers
344 views

Where can I find a place to play?

Suppose you cannot use players' or DM apartments. Where would you play a whole campaign ? For the very nature of roleplaying, pubs and public libraries are not appropriate. Any proposals ?
12
votes
3answers
404 views

Where can I learn the meanings of RPG terminology?

Words like 'campaign', 'system', 'dX', etc. Is there a good web resource with them all on a single page?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Animate Objects vs Animate Dead - is there anything stopping the Good-aligned 'Necromancer'?

Is there anything stopping you using Animate Objects, with or without Permanency, to affect a bunch of corpses? If so, what? And would that qualify as an Evil, Chaotic, or Neutral act? Have you ...
11
votes
10answers
5k views

Which roleplaying games feature realistic combat? [closed]

For many players and referees the characteristics of a Roleplaying Game are important. Does it allow for extensive character creation or it is quickly resolved, is it rules light or does it cover many ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a limit to racial - magic item - feats - powers you can stack on a single standard action attack?

In a number of questions here in this forum people are asking can X or Y stack, or why does it stack or why doesn't it stack. My question is - Is there a limit in the rules on stacking in D&D 4e? ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Comprehensive list of WOTC D&D 4.0 products?

Is there a list of all the D&D 4.0 books to date, available on the web? Ideally sorted by release date, but I'm not picky.
3
votes
4answers
251 views

What is the current state of affairs of SpellJammer?

Is there an expectation of anything happing with it in the future?
20
votes
10answers
5k views

What role-playing games best emulate a non-mystical Old West setting?

I am interested in running an American Old West RPG/campaign that doesn't rely on fantasy/mystical or sci-fi/steampunk elements. What system do you recommend, and why do you think it captures a more ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Covertly casting a spell

This question about Charm Person got me musing about a problem with the spell. Obviously, you can't cast Charm Person in the middle of a forum to sway an interlocutor to your side without the other 20 ...
15
votes
2answers
617 views

Can a character in the middle of a move action alter his movement based on a change in his surroundings?

For example: A player (speed 6) moves two squares towards a human bandit (pg. 162 MM) becoming adjacent to him, then proceeds to move around him to the right, provoking an opportunity attack. The ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you rule halfling tossing as a combat action?

The party I am GMing has three characters over 6' tall with 20+ strength as well as a halfling and a kobold, both small and about 3' tall. A couple of times, they have wanted the big characters to ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

When a creature is invisible, but not hidden, do the enemies know the location of the creature?

When a creature is invisible but not hidden, one could argue that the players still know it's general location. If a creature becomes invisible and not hidden does it remain on the battle-mat?
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Forced movement into danger: is there a saving throw?

Is there a saving throw to stop forced movement (a push, pull, or slide) from forcing you into a square that will damage you? My wizard's tactic lately has been to try to Thunderwave enemies into the ...
12
votes
3answers
526 views

Role playing with powers, solely for the effect without damage

Certain abilities have very interesting effects, but are accompanied by damage. In combat, this is no problem. But say you want to use the ability outside of combat, for role-playing reasons. Can you ...
12
votes
3answers
926 views

How can I adjust the difficulty of a scene on the fly?

I was a DM for the first time yesterday. It was a lot of fun, and all things considered, I think I've made a pretty darn good first session. It was, however, too difficult. I've based the various ...
12
votes
2answers
719 views

Enemies knocking players unconscious instead of killing them

In D&D 4th Ed., can a monster choose to knock the player he is killing unconscious instead of killing him, thereby not giving him a chance to roll death saving throws to get back on his own and ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What is Exalted Paranoia Combat?

Having spent some time reading, and occasionally posting on, the official Exalted forum, I've come across a number of people talking about "paranoia combat" What does this mean? They also generally ...
11
votes
2answers
331 views

Is this how to hide?

I know that Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 is a pretty lousy stealth simulator--which is probably why I've not seen a lot of folks try to play characters that hide--, but I want to clarify the hiding rules ...

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